by Epiphany Bible Students

No. 283

My dear Brethren: Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!

As we face the New Year (written November 20, 1978), we once again marvel at the scientific advancements in medicine, agriculture, technical efficiency, etc. And we have witnessed some of the scientific advancements in medicine in our own personal ex­periences. When getting our physical in June, during which they gave us a complete cardiograph, X-rays, etc., these were then immediately telephoned to Chicago (about fif­teen hundred miles from Mount Dora), and the complete results were back by computer be­fore we had finished dressing – in fact, less than five minutes. Had some one else told us about this, it would have been hard to believe – but it was a fact experienced personally; and the results were good – no problems at all for which we are thankful.

And in agriculture there is loud complaint about overproduction – bumper crops, etc. – more than twice the needs of our people. In times past the real calamities came upon the nations if they did not produce enough to feed the people; and this may still be true in some of the other large countries; but it is not true here in the U.S. ­Everywhere the granaries are bursting. A recent press report says, “A new 40-year Food for Peace credit agreement has been signed with Egypt, enabling it to buy $214 mil­lion worth of U.S. wheat in the coming year, the Agriculture Department says.”

Along with this however, there is also a very cheerful aspect. With all the tur­moil we see so rampant, the inventive genius of our technicians is matching stride for stride. As one instance, we would refer to the operation of our giant agricultural ef­forts. Fifty years ago a load of hay was pitched by hand and fork in the blistering ninety-degree weather, so that by evening the laborer was ready to fall over in a heap. But that is all gone now! The invention and production of our fine farm equipment has changed all that: The machine does all that work now – the only necessity for man there is to guide the machine so that it will do its work properly. And the driver experi­ences very little fatigue from the day’s operation.

If the general economy, the conduct and moral attitude of our political leaders and the populace in general, were even 25% in line with our scientific and economic progress, this paper on Retrospect and Prospect would be a much different composition, because we see decay rampant in so many places; and these we shall now contemplate.


All the major nations continue to plunge hopelessly into further debt. For the first time in history we had a “run” on the American dollar – something that we would have considered impossible before 1914. It was then a common expression, “You are as sound as an American dollar.” But the paper promises have deteriorated so drastically that an American dollar is now a promise to pay nothing; and so many of them have been printed that it is just impossible to make any successful effort to support it.

We have discussed this situation with a highly respected and intelligent man – a man who has a prominent standing in the political world. He visited Washington in the early part of 1978, and talked with some of the leading office-holders there (personal friends of his); and he told us they told him we could expect a 20% inflation – prob­ably in 1978. He mentioned going to New Zealand to look things over, as he had read of the stability they had there. However, we have no intention of going to a foreign country for protection, as our confidence and protection are in the Lord – although we try, with the Lord’s help and overruling providence, to conduct all our affairs in such a way as to survive the situation until total collapse involves all nations and peoples. Indeed, we see clearly before our minds the Lord’s prediction concerning this very time in which we now find ourselves: “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven (the pre­vailing religious institutions and their leaders) shall be shaken... When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (de­liverance) draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:26-28)

It comes to us from neighboring sources that the American soldiers stationed abroad – in countries such as Germany, etc. – that their purchasing power of the dollar has declined and many of them are resorting to the black market, and even greater evils to maintain their usual way of life. Our politicians are either too ignorant of the true situation, or have not the courage to declare themselves.     Many among them “love the praise of men” (John 12:43), and the financial gain, along with the pampering pride that goes with it. Thus they allow things to go to ruin. It has been well said that nations, like trees, die in the top first; and it has ever been thus. We instance es­pecially the case of Belshazzar, King of Babylon, who “made a great feast... and drank wine before the thousand.” (Dan. 5:1) At the height of his hilarity that night there came upon the wall that famous handwriting, “Mene, Mene, Tekal, Upharsin,” etc. “and in that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom.” (Dan. 5:30,31)

And the Medes and the Persians followed much the same course in due time – until Alexander the Great conquered them and took over, after which came the Romans. At the time of Jesus to be a Roman was greater than to be a king – a rigid and well-disciplined people, with the stern “iron rule” portrayed in the two legs of Daniel’s metal-man im­age as seen by Nebuchadnezzar. (Dan. 2:1–45)    However, these also fell prey to the wine and banqueting, which allowed the sturdy Germans to slide down the mountains on their shields and overthrow them. And thus it has been in “this present evil world.” (Gal. 1:4)


We had a general election here in the United States November 7, although it did not involve the highest offices in our government. Thus, it was what we term an ‘off year’; and, as usual, the minor party in the government made some gains in the Senate and in the House of Representatives – although not enough to make any material difference in what we may expect for the next two years. This is usually the case in these ‘off’ years – sometimes much more impressive than in 1978.

According to a press release, “Carter talks austerity, but signs veterans’ bill.” President Carter has received much praise from several quarters in regard to his at­tempt at Camp David to bring peace to the Middle East – but it remains to be seen how much of his efforts will be successful.

We would emphasize here, however, that much of the turmoil in the world – in riots, the revolutions in small countries (“earthquakes, upheavals in society, in di­verse places”) are more political than they are economic. As one instance, we shall offer some details on Nicaragua: We have been well acquainted with a man who was a di­rector in a mining company down there; and the officials of his company were well liked by Somozas, who have been in power there for more than fifty years – and this man told us that about one-third of the country is owned by the Somozas. Thus it is not diffi­cult to understand that any laws they might pass would not be intended to hurt or stifle the power they wield. And they made enemies of people who were just as intent upon de­posing them as the Somozas were intent on remaining in power.

Anyway, there came up a conclave of some sort, which was to be out in the open; and Somoza’s enemies determined this would be the time they would finish him off. So they had men in strategic positions to shoot him when he mounted the platform. They were able to pump five bullets into him, none of which was fatal at the time. Our Pres­ident Eisenhower immediately sent his personal physician, General Heaton, to remove the bullets and save the life of Somoza. He was able to remove three of them, but said the other two in the back could wait for a few days until he recovered his strength somewhat; but they did not know those bullets had been charged with potassium cyanide, which deadly poison gradually seeped into Somoza’s body; and he was dead in two days. The son, now the chief ruler there, then took over, determined to be less severe than his father had been; but still apparently too severe to suit many of the citizens, so they are now at this date engaged in vicious fighting to eliminate him.

Similar atrocities have been related in the press this year, some in minute de­tail, so we shall not say more about this. But it should be apparent to our readers that the very foundations of organized society are being shaken as never before – a “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time.” (Dan. 12:1 – also see Matt. 24:15-22)

As some of our readers know, the Epiphany Messenger wrote about the distinctive evils of the various Old World nations. Among these he classified Spain as having the national evil of cruelty; and it would seem Somoza was a true Spaniard in that re­spect. The terrible treatment of their fellow Spaniards in the Franco civil war is a second example; and Spanish bullfighting a third. Some years ago a prominent news­paper writer told of attending one of those bullfights; and he offered the conclusion that the only reason he sat through it was because he could then speak with first-hand in­formation. He would never want to see another one


We now give excerpts from a press report of The Year’s Most Fascinating Non-fiction Book as follows: “This year’s edition provokes a comment and raises a question. The comment is that the more things change, the more they change. And the question is, how did our government get so nosy?..... Illegitimacy, for one thing, seems to have become an epidemic. As recently as 1965, government statisticians counted 291,000 births to unmarried women, for a rate of 7.7% of all births. Just 10 years later, the numbers were 447,900 and 14.2%... About 70% of the abortions are performed upon married women. By coincidence, this is almost exactly the percentage of married women using contracep­tives... Syphilis has declined dramatically over the past decade, but the incidence of gonorrhea has more than tripled, from 325,000 reported cases in 1965 to one million in 1975. Alcoholism is on the rise among both men and women. The number of unmarried couples living together has more than doubled in the past six years... Back in 1965, which was not so very long ago, total public expenditures on welfare were placed at $77.2 billion. The comparable figure for 1978 was $331.4 billion... The number of persons on welfare has greatly increased... The number of persons classified as permanently disabled has jumped from 600,000 to 2 million... The big increase, man­ifestly, has gone into public welfare, health, education and Social Security payments. Government at every level is taking a slowly increasing percentage of the people’s wealth... Many of the old virtues – chastity, fidelity, continence, family respon­sibility – clearly are slipping away from the respected place they once occupied in the American ethos. In their place we are getting different values – or non-values. None of this necessarily spells twilight for the American empire, but in terms of the old ways it is later than we think.”

According to news reports, one prominent college paid Timothy Leary $2,250 for a two-hour talk, in which he advocated the use of drugs, etc. He thinks 8-yr. olds should have the privilege of voting. At the end of his lecture he said, “I take no responsibility for anything I’ve said tonight.” A news columnist said of that meet­ing: “It’s not that I dislike Leary. I do. It’s not that he has been a long–time advocate of drugs. He has, and I’m sure the parents of many children who suffered, grievous harm by following his advice would love an opportunity to chat with him in a dark alley in the absence of witnesses... We can see in the Leary episode an example of what happens when we, as a society, voluntarily stop making moral judgments. All judgments must be made on the basis of some criteria; and, if we toss out morality, then what’s left? Public opinion polls, fads, whims, and marketing techniques.”

This same outspoken writer also said: “Try Bible. If you are addicted to self-­help books, I have a money–saving tip for you... The way to save money and still cater to your lust for self-improvement is to pick up a Gideon Bible somewhere and read it, especially the book of Proverbs... Most people think of a Bible in purely religious terms, but it contains a great deal of very practical information about very practical aspects of living.”

“As we know, there are plenty of Learys in the world, but we also still have a few who hold fast to good principles and boldly advocate them, as does this writer. By doing so they get the criticism of the modern-age liberals; but, more important, they get the admiration and praise of worthwhile people whose opinions are sound and instructive: “The way of the Lord is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the work­ers of iniquity.” (Prov. 10:29)

Corruption is infesting a large number of our politicians, as well as the time­-honored professions of the medical association, lawyers and time-honored institutions of schools. One instance of corruption of politicians is in Detroit: Twenty counts of fraud were brought before the Grand Jury against one of the Congressmen. When ar­rested, he made the observation, “Why do they single me out, when they are all doing it?” Anyway, they found him guilty of all 20 counts this last summer; yet, in spite of that, he received 68% of the votes in his district in the primary, and was re-elected to Con­gress on Nov. 7 by a vote of about four to one. This is a fine tribute to the moral ex­cellence of the American people! However, we do not say that all politicians are dis­honest and corrupted. But such corruption when made manifest some years ago was treated differently than it is today.

Some of our erstwhile respected institutions of learning openly allow girls and boys to live together. One prominent school in Michigan has told the girls that if they became pregnant from such cohabitation the school would finance their way to New York State for an abortion. There has been much in the press, too, that such deteriora­tion, if continued, will reduce us to Sodom and Gomorrah degradation. “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.” (Isa. 16:49–50)

We do not think all lawyers, doctors, et al, are all bad, as we think well of those with whom we have to do, and appreciate their skill and integrity in all their dealings with us. But it is the ones that have done evil in the sight of God and man that have brought distrust upon many of them who do not justly deserve such distrust. But we are living in the Epiphany when persons, principles and things will be made man­ifest; and don’t we see that on every hand – the revealment of persons, principles and things? “For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither anything hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.” (Luke 8:17) This is the time of which the Apostle wrote: “JUDGE NOTHING BEFORE THE TIME, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.” (1 Cor. 4:5)


During the year past the turmoil in religion has also been apparent on every side. We begin with the Roman Catholic Church, because it has the greatest numbers – about 700 million, according to press reports. During last year we have seen three popes on the papal throne in Rome. Although this is only the second time in history that this has happened, we do not see it as any occasion to place criticism at that Church for that.

However, as some of our readers know, the Epiphany Messenger often predicted that Armageddon would begin in Italy, and with this thought we agree. Thus, we shall dis­cuss the internal affairs of Italy along with the affairs existing in the Church. A news item of last February says this: “Pope Paul VI expressed ‘immense pain’ Friday over resignations from the Roman Catholic priesthood, estimated at between 2,000 and 5,000 every year. (This in itself represents a real problem, as the departure of that many priests would almost certainly leave some congregations without a priest, setting the people adrift with only their past learning to sustain them—JJH) The destiny of the weak ones who have found the force to desert their pledge confounds us and makes us in­voke the mercy of God, he told an audience of Italian priests.

“In 1975, the latest year for which statistics are available, 4,000 priests out of a total of 405,000 (about 10%—JJH) quit the priesthood.

“The problem is even more serious among nuns. The Vatican says about 10,000 a year left convents between 1973 and 1975, out of nearly one million world-wide.

“Many priests and nuns, whose vows require celibacy (There is just no foundation in the Bible teachings for this—JJH), quit to marry. But many others leave in an open breach with Catholicism.   Precise totals of priests who resign in the United States have not been disclosed, but 1975 estimates put the number at 7,000 over the previous decade, with departure generally believed to have slowed. The 80-year-old pontiff... did not quote statistics, but in an emotional voice said the problem of priests leaving the church ‘is present every day in our pain and in our prayers.’”

Another Surprising Observation (a news item of last April): “The Roman Catholic Church, confronted by the accumulated corruption of more than a millennium, will soon have to deal with a growing Marxist movement among leaders of church, according to the author of a new book about the Catholic Church. Malachi Martin (a former Jesuit pro­fessor, author of the ‘Final Conclave,’ which stands 15th on the New York Times best­seller list) maintains in his book that an increasing number of influential priests have been struggling within the hierarchy since the early 1970s to choose a ‘suitable’ successor to Pope Paul VI

“Martin said in an interview yesterday that many leaders are seeking a pope who will guide the church to a future dominated by communism. Martin said he thinks such a move will destroy the structure of the church. ‘The church is now in a state of dry rot,’ he said. ‘It was once a lively living thing. The church has ossified, it has dried up.......

“Martin said massive financial holdings of the church reflect the corruption and misguided intentions of poor leaders. The Catholic Church, he said, owns over a bil­lion-dollar portfolio (other capable financial minds state this figure at about five billion—JJH) of investments around the globe.

“Those holdings include the Watergate apartment complex in Washington and the entire Montreal Stock Exchange, he said.

“A growing divisive spirit has sprung up within the church, he said. Many lead­ers want the church to return to early, basic principles of spiritual and moral leader­ship. Other leaders, Martin said, seek a move toward Marxism. Many Catholic leaders, particularly in Europe and Latin America, are convinced that Communism is inevitable in Western Europe and Latin America. They are building grassroots support for a Communist organization, Martin said. Two-thirds of the clergy in Spain and Italy belong to Marx­ist organizations. It is a difficult moment for the church, Martin said. Romans think in terms of 50 or 100 years. They believe the Democracy of the Americans will recede and the Communists are going to take over.”

To consider that Communism (Marxism) and the Catholic Church could become cozy bed­fellows is just about the same as thinking that a cat and rat may live in peace together. A good Communist (Marxist) must be an atheist, so it is simply pure nonsense to think of trying to merge the two: It just can’t be done!

As we write this there comes another report of terrorism in Italy. Says the press report: “A terrorist assassination Squad shot and killed a district attorney and his two bodyguards, raking their car with sub-machine gun fire in the bloodiest attack since the kidnapping and shooting of former Premier Aldo Moro. As we recall, this is now the third one of similar atrocities in Italy in 1978; and it has truly served its purpose – to terrorize those possessed of this world’s goods. A news item says the purchase of Rolls ­Royce autos (the cheapest of which costs more than $20,000) has almost collapsed in Italy; the rich do not want to attract any attention to themselves through a display of their wealth....

“Police said Wednesday’s attack occurred as Fedele Calvosa, district attorney in the town of 35,000, was being driven to work from his home. A witness told police that three people stepped out of the thick bushes on both sides of the road and opened fire at the car at close range, killing Calvosa and the driver before Pagliel could get his gun out of his holster.”

Sun Myung Moon, of South Korea, should have more than passing attention. In a few short years he seems to have amassed a fortune extending into millions of dollars by his hypnotic endeavors. He has influenced very wealthy persons to contribute all ­or large parts – of their wealth to his movement with the idea that he will create a worldwide government.’ Sex is one of his main topics, as is usually so with such ma­nipulators. The press reports say he teaches: If Jesus had been a perfect man, why didn’t he marry and produce a race of perfect children to populate the earth?

Those of our readers, however, who have been instructed in Present Truth will need no comment from us on this gross error. The US House International Relations Subcommit­tee called for an investigation about him; but he quickly fled the United States.

Jim Jones has recently been very much in the news. He founded another such cult in Indianapolis in 1950, but later migrated to San Francisco. He was forced out of San Francisco by the exposures of his evils by former members of his cult. They charged him with conducting fake faith healing, mass torture, death threats, etc. He resigned and moved to Guyana where he conducted the same sort of evil, there. Rep. Ryan, who had taught school before he entered politics, became much disturbed over the fate of one of his former students, who had become so mesmerized by Jim Jones that he committed suicide. Rep. Ryan and three others decided to go to Guyana to investigate the cult.   All four were assassinated – and the news media now reports that perhaps 400 or more suicides of members of this group are a direct result of this mesmerism in Central America. Jim Jones also died in the holocaust. This also smacks very strongly of demonism.

It should be emphasized here that ALL FAITH HEALERS are kinsmen of Jim Jones and are of his kind, because the Scriptures are clear enough that they are “Satan casting out Satan” (Matt. 12:26) – which is one of the strong evidences that his kingdom is on the brink of destruction. Those grounded in Present Truth know full well that these claims are simply a part of the “pestilence that walketh in darkness.” (Psa. 91:6)

Jews In The News – In The United Israel Bulletin there is this: “Adolph Hitler often had labeled the British ‘White Jews’... We will discover, as we proceed, that while a ‘Jew’ may be both a ‘Hebrew’ and an ‘Israelite,’ a ‘Hebrew’ is not in every case a ‘Jew.’” This is a very similar expression of the Apostle Paul: “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly... But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly.” (Rom. 2:28,29)

We also have a report of Yehuda Schwertz’ visit to the United States and what he witnessed on the Lower East Side of New York: “A black man suddenly came upon the elderly bearded Jew... As the man cursed him in Yiddish, the assailant began forcing his way into his victim’s lower pockets... and as I moved closer.. the black goy aban­doned the old Jew, dropping some items as he fled, leaving the frightened Jew in his wake... By contrast, as we were on board El Al on our return flight, the singing, joy and freedom of the Jewish passengers, made a stark impression by comparison... Despite the many problems that confront adults and children alike in Israel, to watch the happy faces of a child especially, as he alights on a bus on his way to school (knowing full well the dangers of terrorists), head erect, singing, shouting, pushing, and so very confident, presents quite a contrast as well to that old man... I saw in America... To walk free in our own country, to live and study in the same land upon which our fore­fathers trod and which was promised to our very own children, is a feeling unmatched in today’s Jewish world – and surely not to be found in the Galut of America “

Also we have a report of Meir Kahanem On Trial: On Monday, Sept. 4, the Begin Government placed Rabbi Kahanem Head of Kach-Jdl Israel on Trial in Beersheba on a charge of “Illegally” settling in Hebron. He says: “I am ashamed that a Jewish govern­ment – the Begin government, tries me in a Jewish court in the State of Israel for the ‘crime’ of wishing to practice my right and obligation to settle in the Jewish city of Hebron... The Jewish people are a Chosen people of the Almighty, given this land as a Chosen land in which to build a Chosen society... In our times, nothing so symbolizes our lack of faith than the refusal of the Jewish government to annex the lands; allow unlimited Jewish settlement... And so, I admit with pride that I came to Hebron and to Hadassah to its rightful Jewish owners and set a precedent for the others... To force Begin to choose who he is and let the people see this... To show Carter and the world that pressure on Begin to give in, will still not succeed in forcing a betrayal of the Holy Land... There are many Jews who will not allow Begin to betray the land... The military governor banned me from Hebron by order. I already had an order from Above, ordering me to settle there. And so does the governor. And this court. And Begin.”

As we consider the above, we must admit that the Jews have a very deep-rooted at­tachment for Palestine. History supports all that the Bible tells us about it; and we know that the fundamentals of the Jewish religion – and the foundation for our own Christianity – were given to Moses from God at Mt. Sinai. Thus, the sentiment in this situation is perhaps greater than any other fact in history. Before Moses and Sinai, the human race had nothing written to guide them in a true religion toward God. Those who had a gripping inclination to worship acted in accord with the sentiments of David: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained.” Thus, the only thing the Jews, or anybody else, could do for re­ligious inspiration was to gaze into the heavens for consolation of heart and mind. But this was all changed through Moses at Sinai; and some of the Jews know this about as well as you and I know it; so it is not a thing to be easily cast aside because others have moved into that country.

Of course, we must not ignore the fact that the Arabs and the Jews – the descen­dants of Abraham through Ishmael and Isaac – have despised each other for 4,000 years; the desert lands of Palestine and neighboring lands have been the Arabs’ home for more than 2,000 years – although they did nothing with it to improve or restore its productiv­ity. The Arabs have been the nomads of the desert. It is blood and fiber of their very beings – so much so that it is impossible for them to discern the deep affection which the Jews properly have for that country.

Following is a quote from Larry Lipman: “The Israelis aren’t anxious to relin­quish control after all those centuries of waiting. They want to keep it and control it for all faiths. For Jerusalem is truly a holy city to the Jews, Moslems and Chris­tians. You can find all three faiths openly practiced there.”

It is well to emphasize here that, while the Jews have shamefully mistreated the holy prophets of their Age, they never persecuted Greek, Roman or heathen for their religion. Thus they have been much more tolerant of other religions than other relig­ions have been of them. And the Christians have been most guilty in this respect ­just as Christians (?) have been the most zealous to extirpate the ‘heretics’ – some­thing the Jews have never tried to do.


In this paper it has not been our intention to offer much detail on “prospect”; rather, we have dealt with enough of Retrospect to throw some light on the 1979 pros­pect. We emphasize Jesus’ words in Matt. 24:7: “Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines and pestilences, and earth­quakes in divers places.” While all of these statements may be taken literally, yet we believe the “earthquakes” mean more symbolically than they do literally. An earth­quake in Bible symbols means a revolution – a turning over of the symbolic earth (or­ganized society).  We need no interpreter to tell us that this overturning has made frequent appearance during 1978, but only in the smaller countries, and not any major upheaval thus far. We incline to the opinion that 1979 will probably be worse than was in 1978.

In 1 Kings 19:1-12 we are given the view of things to Elijah the Prophet. It will be recalled that in Chapter 18 it is related how Elijah ordered all the prophets of Baal to be slain – which was done. But those prophets were the special favorites of Queen Jezebel, the heathen wife of King Ahab. This had enraged the Queen so badly that she had the whole Israel army out looking for Elijah to kill him. She could in­deed be a most vicious enemy! But the Lord gave Elijah strength and overruling of his affairs that he was enable to reach Mount Horeb, which Mount was typical of the Kingdom of God.  It is our understanding that this had the beginning of its fulfillment in the years 1874-78, in which latter year the sleeping saints were raised from the dead.

However, in Kings 19:11 Elijah was given a panoramic view of the happenings at the end of this Age, wherein, first of all, he saw a “great and strong wind rend the moun­tains”; then, “after the wind an earthquake”; “after the earthquake a fire” (v. 12)... and “after the fire a still small voice.” All of these, we believe reveal spec­ial events here in the end of the Age: The “great and strong wind” portrayed the great war which had its beginning in 1914 – up to that time the world’s greatest calamity. Then, the “earthquake” – symbolic of a giant upheaval which would rend society in all its principle parts. These small ones that we see going on in many parts of the world now are just a ‘preview’ of what is to come.

“After the earthquake a fire.” Fire in the Bible quite often portrays destruc­tion. A text generally misunderstood throughout Christendom contains the words of John the Baptist: “He (Jesus) shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” (Matt. 3:11) Many nominal Christians hold to the view that this “fire” is the exuberance that comes to one when he has accepted Christ, and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit. But in Matt. 13:49,50, we are plainly told that this “fire” is the destruc­tion that should come upon the wicked – upon the Jews, when they received their final dispersion throughout Christendom in the year 70 AD; and to the tares here at the end of this Age. “Gather ye together first the tares (imitation Christians)... in bundles to burn them” (Matt. 13:30) – not to stimulate them spiritually, but to end their ex­perience as imitation Christians. This will be accomplished partially in the great earthquake’ just ahead; and fully so in the ‘fire’ that shall follow the earthquake.

The Epiphany Messenger told us that the 70-years desolation of Christendom began in 1914. He based this opinion on the desolation of Israel which lasted for seventy years – “until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfill threescore and ten years.” (Seventy years—2 Chron. 36:21) Therefore, if the desolation of Israel from 607 BC to 536 (seventy years) under the yoke of the Assyrians, is a parallel, we should expect this to end in 1984 – at which time some great event will happen to confirm this thought. This is not our own origi­nal conclusion, but that of the Epiphany Messenger; and we shall place some credence in it unless time itself convinces us otherwise.

As we consider the events of the year just past, it should convince any open mind that we are in “the time of the end” – even though we had no chronology, no other prophe­cies, no parallel dispensations, etc. All the evidence shows that we are “in the evil day.” (Eph. 6:13) And considering this, we need have no fear, for “The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.” (Psa. 29:11)

Due to a very heavy load of work, as well as some illness here in the Bible House, and the death of our brother, Henry Hoefle of Detroit, we are not sending the usual Holiday greetings; but we do want to thank the many friends who have sent us their good wishes, love and prayers, which we heartily reciprocate. Please know that the en­couragement of our dear brethren has been a great blessing to us; and we wish all our readers the Lord’s richest blessings in the New Year – both temporal and spiritual. “Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” (Psa. 32:11)

Sincerely your brother,

John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim



This year the proper time for the Memorial is after six p.m., April 9. Details will be furnished later.